Since there have been a few discussions recently about Twitter, why I use it and ‘what a waste of time it is’ I figured it was time to write a blog post about it. Also because I haven’t written anything in a while and also because it’s that special time of year again: exams!
First things first, for all you n00bs out there; what is Twitter? There are many definitions on the intertubes, but since most of the people who read this will never bother to look it up, I thought I’d better write it down. I would define Twitter as a tool to let other people know what you are doing, what has your attention at a certain moment or share something interesting. You do this by typing short messages (maximum 140 characters) into a box either on the Twitter site or an application of your choice. You could compare it with your Facebook-status updates or SMS, but it’s so much more.
The Twitterverse (Twitter Universe) even has its own language ;) (sort of)
- a tweet: a message you posted on Twitter
- follower: a person on Twitter who has subscribed to your tweets and therefore receives all your updates
- Twitter-app: an application you can use to update your status and see other people’s tweets (I use Twitterrific on my Mac and iPhone)
Why do I use twitter?
In the beginning, Twitter was my psychologist. If I wanted to say something when no-one was around or something was bothering me, I told Twitter. I had no followers, so there wasn’t anybody listening to what I had to say. The people that I was following were people from the geek-community that I felt had interesting things to say, so I listened.
Then as some people started following me, I started to tweet stuff that I thought was interesting, like links I discovered or cool blog posts, etc. (Remember that just because YOU think ‘discovering new things online’ is not interesting, doesn’t mean other people feel the same way). I also started following a few news-accounts that tweet interesting news-facts immediately, so I’m always up to date (when I check my Twitter account of course).
Since I’ve joined Twitter, I have discovered so many new things; sites, applications, blogs, etc. online. And since the internet is sort of my thing, Twitter has proved to be very useful for me.
Other reasons for liking Twitter
For a lot of businesses, Twitter is a great way to interact with their audience, get feedback and reply to questions. Of course this only works if you’re in a business where a lot of your customers are on Twitter ;) You can ask questions, get immediate responses, etc. It’s an amazing marketing tool.
Twitter has also been a very useful tool when it comes to ‘man on the street’ journalism. At this moment, people in Gaza are tweeting about the situation there, things you never see in the media. This all is going so much faster than traditional media.
Now, I’m sure there are plenty of other sites that can explain Twitter a lot better, but this is what I had to say about it ;)
So, to conclude: if you still think Twitter is stupid or a ‘waste of time’, I don’t care. I like it and I’m entitled to my own opinion!By the way; if you don’t know what you’re talking about, don’t talk about it and definitely don’t say it’s stupid. That would be like me saying … cars are stupid. Which I don’t, cause I know nothing about them.